Las Vegas All-American Classic Hopes to Solve Identity Crisis

Indianapolis Colts v Houston Texans

LAS VEGAS-Among the three specialty football games played this season at Sam Boyd Stadium, the inaugural Las Vegas All-American Classic (LVAAC) is being confused with the other entities. The LVAAC, a college all-star game featuring football players from the top NCAA programs throughout the country, is the new game in town. The LVAAC, played on Saturday, January 17, 2004, and broadcast on Fox Sports Net, is the last of the three games.

“With the similarity in the names of all three Sam Boyd Stadium games, we seem to be having an identity crisis among those who are vaguely familiar with our respective games,” said Darry Alton, the LVAAC’s founder and CEO. “We want both college and pro football fans to know what makes our game unique is we are ‘America’s largest college all-star football game’—and with 110 players we become an all-American classic.”

According to Alton, the confusion began when his All-American Classic added “Las Vegas” to its title as part of a sponsorship agreement. Then the Silver Dollar Classic, a football game in its second year featuring a pair of historically black college teams, changed its name to the Las Vegas Classic (played on Sept. 13). Add the longest running of the three games—the Las Vegas Bowl (played Dec. 24), which currently features the fifth place PAC-10 team versus a Mountain West Conference second pick—and one can see how the ordinary fan can be confused.

“We need to do an excellent job marketing this event to college and NFL fans in our local market, ” Alton said. “The games are far enough a part during football season to allow all three to successfully market their events and have their due time in the limelight—each one has its niche market, but each one also shares a large number of fans. ”

The LVAAC, formerly known as the Paradise Bowl, is actually in its third year of operation. In the past more than 80 percent of the athletes are from NCAA Division IA schools representing 70 schools in all major conferences. Coaches for the East and West squads will have NFL or NFL Europe experience. All players are eligible for April’s NFL draft and are selected in cooperation with professional scouts.

Leading up to January’s Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, the LVAAC will feature weeklong activities ranging from fan festivals, All-American Classic Experience, Friday night Concert, scouting combine, autograph sessions, banquets, celebrity visits, on field contests and much more to be announced this fall. Also included are charity events and visits to children’s hospitals, elementary schools and a golf tournament.

“We look forward to working with the community, to giving back through charitable organizations and to supporting local high school football programs,” said Alton. “Most of all, we look forward to bringing a phenomenal experience to our sponsors, the players, the coaches, the scouts and the City of Las Vegas.”

Tickets will be sold through UNLVTickets.com and the Thomas & Mack Center Ticket Office. Ticket information will be announced next month.

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